View Full Version : Symbolism

05 May 2005, 02:37 AM
Alright, here is how it is. I LOVE symbolism. It just excites me to find out that there is symbolism in a painting. It's so creative

However, I can't seem to find a good place to reference symbolism. Does anyone know of any books or websites that explain symbolism of things like animals, flowers, symbols, etc.? It would be really helpful.

Thank you all!

05 May 2005, 03:03 AM
Symbolism has changed throughout history and is also culture dependent, so if you want to research symbolism in art on the web I have found it is often best to include a time period and/or place. Also helpful may be a topic, like death etc.

I was researching Victorian death symbolism for my M&S challenge entry and came on this link (

05 May 2005, 03:07 AM
Oh...I didn't realize that I should include the time period. Thanks for the suggestion. And I checked out that link, and it looks like it'll be pretty helpful. Thank you!

05 May 2005, 05:10 AM
Yes - there is an incredibly wide range of symbolism, from very personal symbols which are perhaps understood by a single individual, to more widely understood cultural symbols (and remember, culture can be nested i.e.: sub-cultures/counter-cultures). The most universal symbols are those that form the basis of mathematics and logic (neither of which I understand :) )

If you have a philisophical bent, you might want to check out Alfred North Whiteheads 'Symbolism its' Meaning and Effect'.


05 May 2005, 04:54 PM

The Symbolist movement in France of the 1800's grew out of the Romantic period first as a literary style with writings by J.K. Huysmans. The Greek poet Jean Moreas was the first to coin the term in his Symbolist Manifesto. Can't have a movement without a 'fetso.


05 May 2005, 03:29 AM
I find subtle, deeper symbolism to be the best, but unfortunately, unless you're told to or know to look for it, it often goes unnoticed, which is an honest shame towards the effort of symbolism. And as stated before, some symbolism/references can be lost in the barriers of cultures, languages and history....

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05 May 2005, 03:29 AM
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